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AWARE A quarterly publication of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

magazine February 2014

New President New Students New Year

Aware Magazine • February 2014


Features 3 | Presidential Perspective: Waiting with Expectation and Hope 4 | Interview with New President Lallene J. Rector 6 | The Learning Experience of a Lifetime

Cutting Edges featuring Charles H. Cosgrove, Professor of Early Christian Literature


7 | Cutting Edges: Woman of Pompeii 8 | Garrett-Evangelical Welcomes New Students 12 | Thomas Lane Butts, Gifted Preacher and Loyal Supporter 13 | Over 1,400 Participated in First Ever Town Hall Meeting 14 | Alum News and In Memoriam

Meet seven of our newest students who are preparing for ministry

Aware is published quarterly by the development

office for alums and friends of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church. Founded in 1853, the seminary serves more than 500 students from many denominations and various cultural backgrounds, fostering an atmosphere of ecumenical interaction. Garrett-Evangelical creates bold leaders through master of divinity, master of arts, master of theological studies, doctor of philosophy, and doctor of ministry degrees. Its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world. 2121 Sheridan Road | Evanston, IL 60201 1.800.SEMINARY |

16 | Calendar of Events

Lallene J. Rector


Betty Campbell Jonathan Dodrill David Heetland April McGlothin-Eller Krista McNeil Shane Nichols


Presidential Perspective Waiting with Expectation and Hope As I write this essay, the Christian community is well into the Advent season, a season of waiting with expectation and hope. The world is also waiting as it mourns the death of one of its finest sons, Nelson Mandela, the first Black President of South Africa. In both instances, we wait and we celebrate. On the one hand, we will give thanks for the saving gift of God’s son who, as St. Paul puts it in his letter to the church at Philippi, “ . . . emptied himself by taking the form of a slave and by becoming like human beings” (Phil 2:7, CEB). With Mandela, we celebrate a most remarkable Christian life of service, a profound Lallene capacity for forgiveness, and an unremitting commitment to justice. In both instances, the world not only lost servant leaders, but leaders whose S(s)pirit continues to inspire obedience to our calling as disciples of Jesus Christ and to our own forms of service.

There is much at stake as we are entrusted with the treasure of a long history of service that continues to change the world. Garrett Biblical Institute, the Chicago Training School, and Evangelical Theological Seminary, together finally as GarrettEvangelical, pioneered theological education for what would become The United Methodist Church and beyond. We are a vibrant school, well resourced with people, imagination, talent, constituent support, and funding. We are beautifully positioned to continue leading with innovation in ways that honor the “DNA” of the school, but that also lead us into new expressions of service and contribution for today’s church and for today’s world. I am eager to continue this J. Rector ministry with you and request your prayers for the school’s well-being.

I believe that if Garrett-Evangelical understands itself, first and foremost, as servant to the church and to the world, then we will surely be close to fulfilling God’s purpose for us. As we celebrate the 160th anniversary of the founding of the school, we stop to remember the legacy of our history, and we are proud. We remember Eliza Garrett and the strong women who kept our school going through the most challenging of times, through fire and through global economic depression. We remember our good friends at Northwestern University who also helped to save the school during this nearly disastrous period. We remember our early and continuing Wesleyan commitment to forming leaders in the habits of personal and social holiness. We remember the international contributions of Georgia Harkness and so many female faculty members who have followed. We remember the historic founding of the Church and the Black experience—our continuing leadership for racial/ethnic diversity in theological education.

Garrett-Evangelical is waiting with expectation and hope, and, understandably, also with a bit of anxiety as a new leader arrives. I take seriously St. Paul’s admonition that, “ . . . if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort in love, any sharing in the Spirit, any sympathy . . . think the same way, having the same love, being united, and agreeing with each other. Don’t do anything for selfish purposes, but with humility think of others as better than yourselves. Instead of each person watching out for their own good, watch out for what is better for others. Adopt the attitude that was in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:1-5, CEB). Let us move forward together with each other, reasoning along the way, speaking honestly and openly about our hopes, our concerns, and our expectations. Let us take on this mind of Christ and a spirit of service. I believe that Garrett-Evangelical has a future filled with hope. As your new president, I pledge relentless commitment in leading the school to be a servant seminary, wise in the stewardship of its multiple resources so that we may continue to prepare bold, spiritual leaders for the sake of transformation in today’s church, academy, and world. Aware Magazine


Interview with New President, Lallene J. Rector On January 1, 2014, Lallene J. Rector assumed the new role of president of Garrett-Evangelical. Rector is the first woman and the first layperson to serve as president in Garrett-Evangelical’s 160-year history. She has been a member of the seminary faculty for 27 years, with the last seven spent as vice president for academic affairs and academic dean. We, at Garrett-Evangelical, know President Rector well, and we welcome her leadership with great joy and enthusiasm. We are delighted to introduce you to her in the following interview. What is your vision for the future of theological education?

intend to continue nurturing that relationship and to explore ways in which we may serve the university.

Theological education is a rapidly changing landscape on a number of fronts. Its delivery methods include digital learning and distance formats. Traditional notions about the duration and location of degree work are being seriously challenged. The pool of those seeking master of divinity degrees is shrinking, as is the number of students interested in pursuing ordination. The religious landscape of our North American society includes growing interfaith dimensions and the rise of persons who do not identify with any religious tradition, though they may also be spiritual. Even so, the audience for theological education is broadening. We are excited about the creative ministries for which students want to prepare, and we must engage lay education as an important part of our educational offerings. It is a time of transition and change, full of opportunity for us to learn new things and to develop new teaching strategies and pedagogies.

We will renew our partnership with the local church and with denominational leaders to find new and creative ways of working together toward a goal of preparing relevant and effective leaders, as well as finding ways to better support our students as they undertake the rigors of theological education. This partnership will be a vital part of the process we undertake this spring in a curriculum revision.

There is so much work to do and so little time. The challenge is to identify key opportunities and to focus our energies. What do you see as the greatest opportunities for Garrett-Evangelical and what are its greatest assets? There are many opportunities. The challenge is to identify those that are key and focus our energies and resources there. Engaging collaborative relationships with other institutions, especially schools, is critical for a successful future. Thanks to the good work of President Philip Amerson, we enjoy a very positive relationship with Northwestern University and President Morton Schapiro (“Morty” as we have learned to call him). I

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We are currently forming agreements with a number of United Methodist undergraduate schools to offer graduate level theological courses to seniors, who may then use these courses to get a head start in ministry preparation—we hope with us! We continue our partnership with Methodist Theological School in Ohio. We recently announced, with President Jay Rundell, a joint faculty appointment in theological ethics and ecology that will provide education and training for students in a variety of sustainable practices that care for our environment— just one exciting example of public theology at work in the community and in the seminary. We are strengthening our ability to reach out to the Hispanic/Latino/a community and to find creative ways of supporting ministries there by offering relevant forms of theological education. It is my hope to develop some ability with Spanish and to encourage a few of our faculty to do the same. We have a strong group of United Methodist studies faculty and we have long been a leader in deacon education. These faculty members are currently in the process of developing a more integrated Methodist Studies program.

Our greatest resources are an inspiring history; a very talented and collegial faculty; and our urban/suburban location on the campus of Northwestern, though I hasten to add we need to be careful not to think of ourselves as “fixed” in Evanston. Garrett-Evangelical is present all over the world in the ministries of our devoted alumni base. We enjoy one of the best enrollment programs in theological education, and we see an increasing number of excellent, creative, and passionate students. We are blessed with a number of strong resources to support our mission of preparing bold, spiritual leaders.

We are blessed with a number of strong resources to support our mission of preparing bold, spiritual leaders. What are your highest priorities as you begin your presidency? We have a teaching/training mission that means our priorities are inherently students, faculty, and resources. I believe we need to give more attention to the intentional and explicit formation of public theologians—leaders who can bring the gifts of theological and ethical thinking, as well as analytical skills, to the public issues of our day for the sake of the common good. This also means the seminary needs to become more visible in the community and to be experienced as a contributing partner to the well-being of the community. I am committed to helping this happen. Specifically: • I want to be sure we protect the capacity to accomplish our mission by attending to strong fiscal practices and by devoting energy to completing the Forging our Future: Phase Three capital campaign. • It will be very important to continue to support the scholarship and general flourishing of our faculty. We must also provide support for developing new pedagogical skills for digital learning and for teaching in culturally diverse classrooms. I believe our new dean, Dr. Luis R. Rivera, will be instrumental in helping us to accomplish this.

• As mentioned above, we will begin curriculum revision this spring. Though always a challenging undertaking, a curriculum revision will give us the opportunity to evaluate what we have been doing well and to retain that. We must also look at the curriculum in light of current realities, which include inter-faith communities, globalization and internationalization, the growing number of religious “nones,” and the approach of “2040” (our short-hand way of acknowledging that within a few short years, the White majority in this country will become a minority). These factors necessitate the development of a curriculum and pedagogical approaches that support preparation of spiritually formed, globally aware, culturally sensitive, relevant, and effective public theologians who will make transformative differences in today’s church, today’s academy, and today’s world. We need to be praying for clarity and wisdom and we, the faculty and administration, need to be as open to the movement of the Holy Spirit as we want our students to be.

The best advice I have ever received? Communication is good.

Who most influenced your life and why? During the last several years, I have come to a much deeper appreciation of the role of community in my life and to the reality that none of us really do anything by ourselves. We always stand on the shoulders of those who came before, those who have nurtured and cared for us, those who have educated us, and those colleagues, friends, and family who speak truth to us, know us, and love us anyway. The formative influences in my life come from so many persons who have extended grace to me and who have given of themselves for my well-being that I dare not even begin to name them: family, friends, teachers, clergy, physicians, supervisors, colleagues, and strangers. (Continued on page 6) Aware Magazine


As you begin your presidency, what is your understanding and commitment to the seminary’s emphases of evangelical commitment, creative and critical reason, and prophetic participation in society? I am aware that a significant percentage of our faculty have joined us during the tenure of President Amerson and did not participate in the formation of these emphases as part of the vision and identity statement process completed under the presidency of Neal Fisher. Nonetheless, I still find them relevant and quite compelling. In our work together, I want us to revisit the three emphases with the hope of newly embracing, perhaps redefining, and re-appropriating them. “Evangelical commitment” points to our intention to train leaders who can communicate the Good News of the gospel in winning ways not only for the purpose of making disciples of Jesus Christ, but also to bring a word of Good News to a world that is desperate for hope. The need for “Good News” and a reason to hope never goes away in this life. “Creative and critical reasoning” presaged, I believe, our more contemporary work on pastoral imagination. I believe this emphasis defines so much of how we understand the knowing, being, doing goals of our curriculum. We want to help our students develop the skills of critical thinking as they engage the historical and theological dimensions of the Christian tradition(s); as they engage the scripture and the primary texts of scholars; and as they enter into the various practices of ministry. We also want our students to be equipped with creative thinking abilities as they enter into pastoral ministry and other forms of leadership ministries, especially those new situations and challenges that could not have been anticipated. We want them to be open to the movement of the Holy Spirit in their lives and in their ministries and to be able to welcome the new, the creative, and the unplanned for, even as they will be able to “think critically” about all of this.

Want to read more from President Rector? Be sure to follow her weekly blog at

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“Prophetic interaction in society” still speaks to the ways in which “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23, CEB) I do not mean this in a moralizing, judgmental way, but simply to say that our theological anthropologies help us understand the inescapable brokenness and vulnerability we bring to our living and the ways in which this brokenness leads us to harm ourselves, our neighbors, and our environment. Prophetic interaction, as well as personal and corporate immersion in spiritual disciplines, helps call us to accountability and to take up the mantle of seeking the well-being of all.

I love this school and remain, always and no matter what the challenges, inspired by our mission and by the legacy of our history.

What else would you like our readers to know about you? I love this school and remain, always and no matter what the challenges, inspired by our mission and by the legacy of our history. I have been privileged to teach and to serve here for a long time. I owe an undying debt of gratitude for the professional and personal formation opportunities, for the support, and for the patience that has been extended to me. I know we will face challenges in this changing landscape of theological education, and I know I will make decisions about which some will disagree. I am committed to being transparent in process, to consulting along the way, and to welcoming your concerns, thoughts, and expectations. Together, we will work to strengthen the school and to accomplish our mission. It is my deep joy, my greatest privilege and honor to serve Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in this new way for the sake of preparing bold spiritual leaders who will make a transformative difference in the world. There is nothing else I would rather be doing.

Cutting Edges: Woman of Pompeii Charles Cosgrove, Professor of Early Christian Literature Eliza Garrett, patron founder of Garrett Biblical Institute, lived and died before archeological excavations brought to light a certain nameless, but not faceless, woman of ancient Pompeii. Garrett would have found something to like about this baker’s wife, whose image, nearly two millennia old now, was preserved as a wall painting in a house she shared with her husband, Terentius Neo. The portrait is now at the Museum of Naples, but this year it made a journey, with many other Pompeiian artifacts, to the British Museum in London, where I viewed it in July.

leadership. Prisca and Aquila (Paul puts her name ahead of his) instructed Apollos. Phoebe was Paul’s patron and led an entourage to Rome with his letter to the Roman church. Junia was an apostle along with her husband, Andronicas.

By the second century, however, patriarchy had vigorously reasserted itself in most churches and, despite their numerical superiority, women were largely blocked from leadership roles. The majority of churches were by then organized in a structure of offices to which only men were appointed, and it was only communions somewhat on the The woman in the portrait looks margins—the churches of Montanists out from the painting with an air and Gnostics—that continued to Charles Cosgrove of confident composure. Her hair, affirm some form of gender equality coiffed in a style of the 50s–60s, inspired by Paul’s teaching that in is adorned with a thin red headband. Pearl earrings, a Christ there is “no longer male and female.” red tunic, and mantle complete her attire. Remarkably, in her right hand she holds a stylus and in her left a set Terentius Neo and his wife lived in Paul’s time, and of writing tablets. She is educated. By posing with her their portrait helps me picture the more affluent members stylus and tablets she expresses her pride in that fact. of his churches who provided meeting places for worship, funds for missionary travel, contributions to the Her husband’s image shows him in a bleached toga, collection for the poor in Jerusalem, and perhaps also the which marks him as a candidate for public office. In his writing materials and the scribes Paul needed to carry on right hand is a scroll, indicating that he, too, is literate. his correspondence. There is a gentleness in the look of this Pompeiian couple that also makes them appealing. The two of them appear to be about the same age and are shown side by side in a single portrait, she slightly I was so taken with Neo and his wife when I viewed in the foreground, as if to stress that she is not simply their portrait last summer that I purchased a fine copy, “the wife” but a partner. Do the wax tablets, often used which I now display in a corner of my faculty office for tabulations, suggest that she served as accountant in at the seminary. On the adjacent wall nearby is an her husband’s bakery business? etching of another woman, who is not nameless—Eliza Garrett—and I like to imagine her and the Pompeiian We have no reason to think that this woman was woman engaging in a wordless communication across a Christian or that the Christian mission reached the ages. Clearly, neither was content with confinement Pompeii before that city was destroyed and covered to the background. Both wanted to have a say in things with volcanic ash in 79 C.E. Women like her played that matter. As one who believes that I am better off an important role in the early church, especially in when women have an equal say in everything that the mission of Paul. Blessed with education, property, matters, I think I owe them both a debt. or their own business, they assumed various roles of

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Garrett-Evangelical Welcomes New Students In September, Garrett-Evangelical welcomed a new class of students to campus. These students demonstrate a wide range of past experiences and future plans. The seminary is very proud of the diversity of its student body and the commitment of its students to follow their call to serve God, the church, and their communities. Here are the stories of seven promising students who are beginning their studies at Garrett-Evangelical.

Whanhee Oh Hometown: Incheon, South Korea Home church: Dongsoo Methodist Church, South Korea Program: Master of theological studies Other degrees: Bachelor’s degree in theology from Methodist Theological University, Seoul, South Korea Formative experiences: Just before completing my undergraduate studies, I took time off because I was desperate to find my dream. During the break, I tried everything that I had always dreamt of, including working at a clothing store, learning how to dance and swim, and getting different certification licenses. Then, I packed my bag and went backpacking for the first time by myself to Europe. It was the most terrific experience and helped me find my interests and passion. After traveling, I became more independent. I realized that I need to study more. I was determined to study abroad and followed what my mind said. I am thankful to be part of the Garrett-Evangelical family. Experiences at Garrett-Evangelical: Every week, I have experienced surprising grace and comfort from worship services at the Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful. Especially when I attend the Holy Communion, I feel true communal relationships with Christ and with the community. Not only at the chapel, but also in the classroom, I am learning how to make worship a lifestyle with great friends at the seminary. I was surprised at the strong sense of community and fellowship at Garrett-Evangelical. Many people are dedicated to building a good community for the world.

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Plans for the future: I think God calls me to bring my friends to church and to worship God together. One day, I hope all my friends, their family members and children, and I will gather as a worshiping community and share our faith journeys in Christ. In order to make it possible, art is a very important means and resource in my liturgical studies and calling.

Michael Weaver Hometown: Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio; Currently living and working in Middlebury, Indiana Home church: I was born and raised in The United Methodist Church and am currently serving as director of youth ministries and worship leader at the United Methodist Church in Middlebury Degree program: Master of divinity Other degrees: Bachelor of arts in church music and a minor in theatre/drama, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Mount Vernon, Ohio Formative experiences: Being raised in the church was an important formative experience in my life. I also was blessed with two different summer church internships while I was an undergraduate. They allowed me to see what really goes on “behind-the-scenes� of experiences at Garrett-Evangelical. Since I am still working, the distance was important, and it was also important that the seminary was sensitive to the challenges of commuting students with respect to scheduling and programs. I was very impressed when I visited and with the contact I had with the school after

my visit. They really listened to what I had to say and were able to help me stay connected with the seminary and to people I met there. Plans for the future: I am still in the process of discernment, but right now I feel that I am being called into youth/young adult and creative arts ministries. I want to continue to help youth and young adults come to know Jesus, but I also want to continue to use my musical and theatrical abilities.

Octavius Wilson Hometown: Chicago, Illinois Home church: Carter Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Chicago Degree program: Master of divinity Other degrees: Bachelor of arts in business administration Formative experiences: Truthfully, I have had many experiences that can be attributed to accepting Christ in my life and my call to service. The one that really stands out to me was an experience in 2007 when I lost one of my closest friends to gun violence. Growing up on the south side of Chicago was filled with challenges. Young people are faced with the temptations of drugs, gangs, and dropping out of school. Even my friends and I made some bad decisions and ended up affiliated with the gangs in the neighborhood. Because of this decision from our childhood, one of my friends ended up losing his life. Unfortunately, I was there to watch him breathe his last breath. This incident changed my life. It made me appreciate life more than I ever had in the past. The experience also gave me a passion for people who are influenced and affected by gangs. This tragedy eventually led me to God, and now I am serving at a church in the inner city as the youth pastor. The challenges I have had in my life make me want to help those faced with the similar

challenges make the right decisions in their lives. It is my goal to see our youth survive, and ministry is the avenue in which this will happen. It is my hope that the seminary will refine my gifts so that I can be even more effective in saving lives. Experiences at Garrett-Evangelical: What attracted me to Garrett-Evangelical was my first cousin, Rev. Dr. George Wilson. He is an alumnus of this school and spoke with such high regard of the faculty and the program at this seminary. Since I have been here, everything he said has been true. I am extremely glad to be matriculating at Garrett-Evangelical. Plans for the future: It is my dream to one day be the CEO of a community center that provides a space for spiritual, mental, and physical health development for children, youth, and adults. It is my hope that there will be more than one facility and that each will be placed in a community that is in need of change, socially and economically. It is my vision that these facilities will be a form of the church that is less traditional, but just as effective in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ by being the light in the midst of darkness.

Katye Dunn Hometown: Little Rock, Arkansas Home church: Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, Little Rock Degree program: Master of divinity Other degrees: Bachelor of fine arts in dance performance and bachelor of arts in religious studies from Southern Methodist University (SMU), Dallas Formative experiences: I am a born and bred Southern girl who loves dance, sports, and a good cup of coffee. My family and my friends are the most important things in the world to me, and it has been a good day if I have laughed out loud and given at least one person a hug. (Continued on page 10) Aware Magazine


Garrett-Evangelical Welcomes New Students (Cont.) During my college years, focused on a career in concert dance and musical theatre, I started volunteering with the youth ministry at my home church during holiday and summer breaks. I found so much peace and joy and discovered that God could use me (little old ME) as I went on mission trips with youth in parts of rural Arkansas, led bible study at Starbucks with a group of middle school girls, and built one-on-one relationships with the students, getting to know their hearts and stories – walking with them on the journey of faith. By the time I graduated from SMU, I had gone from not seeing myself doing anything other than performing on stage to not seeing myself doing anything other than youth ministry. Experiences at Garrett-Evangelical: All of the puzzle pieces came together here at Garrett-Evangelical. Living in the South my whole life, I wanted to experience a different part of the country, and I wanted to be close to Chicago’s vibrant music, dance, and theater scene. Pursuing ordination as a deacon in the The United Methodist Church, it was important to me that Garrett-Evangelical is a place that is open and welcoming to students discerning that call. If all of that wasn’t enough, doing my campus visit and meeting the amazing students and administration was all the confirmation I needed that I would fit right in here. Plans for the future: As long as God will let me, I plan to serve as an ordained youth minister in the local church.

Austin Rinehart Hometown: Sterlington, Louisiana Home church: Noel Memorial United Methodist Church, Shreveport, Louisiana Degree program: Master of divinity

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Other degrees: Bachelor of arts, Centenary College of Louisiana Formative experiences: I have had many formative experiences in my life, but one of the more recent ones happened in the summer of 2012. I was selected as a fellow for the Fund for Theological Education. As per the requirements of the fellowships, I attended a conference in Nashville, Tennessee, with the other fellows for a four-day experience on the campus of Vanderbilt University. A wide array of theological backgrounds and a diversity of denominations were represented within this group, including United Methodist, United Church of Christ, Roman Catholic, and non-denominational as well. Being in the presence of such great minds and great theological conversations really brought home the understanding of the Body of Christ. We might not all think alike, look alike, love the same persons, or profess the same faith, but we all are united under the love and grace of God. For someone like me, who loves interdenominational and interfaith dialogue, this was a mountain top experience that allowed me to encounter something I am very passionate about in a tangible way. Experiences at Garrett-Evangelical: When looking toward seminary, I narrowed down my search to two United Methodist schools. I ultimately chose GarrettEvangelical because of its commitment to social justice, progressive theology, and a deep concern for the student. From the very first moment I stepped on campus, I felt at home. I felt connected in a way that I did not feel at other schools I visited. I was instantly attracted to the wonderful professors, challenging curriculum, and interactive classroom experiences. I can fully say with confidence that Garrett-Evangelical has been everything I was hoping and wishing for in a seminary. Plans for the future: I feel a deep connection and call back to my annual conference of Louisiana. I really feel like God is calling me to be a leader there and to be an agent of change. Our annual conference is doing some wonderful things, and with a new episcopal leader, Bishop Cynthia Harvey, it is positioned for the future. I feel called to play a crucial part in that future. I am currently a certified candidate for the elder track, and I plan to be ordained.

Cora Glass

Paul Ortiz

Hometown: Pontiac, MI

Home state: California

Home church: First United Methodist Church, Birmingham, Michigan

Home church: Urban Village Church, Chicago, Illinois

Degree program: Master of divinity

Degree program: Master of divinity

Other degrees: Bachelor of arts in nonprofit leadership and management

Formative experiences: My earliest memories of church life are in little storefront buildings located in the California barrios where I grew up. Growing up in the Hispanic/Latino(a) Pentecostal tradition, the songs we sang and the sermons I heard were mostly in Spanish, and as a result the theology was often in Spanish, too. By this I mean that I was presented with a God that was involved with the struggles of the poor Hispanic families of my childhood congregations. My journey since has taken me to non-denominational churches and recently to The United Methodist Church. Experiences at Garrett-Evangelical: I have found Garrett-Evangelical to be theologically progressive and evangelical at the same time. This combination is important to me. I believe that the future of the church is a blend of the passionate spirit of the Evangelical Church along with the bigger theological outlook that often categorizes mainline Protestantism.

Formative experiences: In seventh grade my church held a contest to see which youth could raise the most money for the CROP walk, a charity walk for hunger and poverty relief. The prize for the contest was a chance to see The Sound of Music on stage at the FOX Theater in Detroit. I loved The Sound of Music, so I decided to send letters to all my friends and family asking for donations. Along the way, I learned more about the impact I was making for hungry and impoverished people around the world. This became the catalyst for my involvement in missions. This love for the church’s work in our world is my motivation toward pursuing ordained ministry. Experiences at Garrett-Evangelical: Over the years, I have been mentored by many Garrett-Evangelical graduates. Many of these pastors have a passion for missions and community. When I began looking for a seminary to attend, I knew Garrett-Evangelical would be a place that would nurture my call. The seminary’s location also provides great opportunities to work in the city and suburbs of Chicago. Plans for the future: I feel called to become an ordained elder. This will allow me to help inspire congregations towards deeper relationships with God and community. I desire to help churches reach out and provide for the spiritual, emotional, and material needs of their community.

Plans for the future: I have been part of Urban Village Church since 2010 and was a church planting intern for over a year. I have recently transitioned to student pastor at a bilingual United Methodist Church, El Redentor Del Calvario/Redeemer of Calvary. I dream about church planting in Hispanic/Latino(a) neighborhoods and experimenting with new ways of doing church. Many Hispanic/Latino(a) people from my generation identify as religious “nones.” I desire to minister to those whom have been disillusioned or even hurt by the church. For even more student stories, go to Aware Magazine


Thomas Lane Butts, Gifted Preacher and Loyal Supporter Thomas Lane Butts, a 1957 Garrett graduate, is a gifted writer, story teller, and preacher. He was featured more than any other person on the national Protestant Hour radio broadcast. He and his wife, Hilda, reside in Monroeville, Alabama, where he is minister emeritus of First United Methodist Church. At 83 years of age, Butts is still a powerful preacher, as the GarrettEvangelical community learned on November 12, 2013, when he came back to preach for the first time in the seminary’s Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful. His sermon, “Celebrate the Temporary,” reminded the congregation that since temporariness and imperfection are characteristic of all human life, we must learn to live with the temporary and the imperfect or perish without them.

The first night, the Klu Klux Klan burned a cross on the parsonage lawn; the second night a cross was burned on the church lawn; and the third night the church held a mass meeting to fire their pastor. Butts had to remind them that they could not fire a Methodist minister. They were stuck with him, and he was stuck with them.

Thomas Lane Butts

“If I were to ask you to tell me the one experience in your life from which you have learned the most,” Butts said, “more than likely you would tell me about one of the most painful and tragic times in your life that you barely survived. But, in time, by some strange alchemy, it became the most saving experience in your life. I believe that faith and patience can transform our pain and loss into a saving experience. I believe that in Christ there is a spiritual alchemy that changes lead into gold. I believe that because I have been there.” Butts then shared the emotional story of his first year in ministry, how he and Hilda left the comfort of Evanston to go back to Alabama, believing their ministry could make a difference there. When they arrived and learned where they were to be appointed, they eagerly looked for the delegate from that church, whose first words to them were, “We don’t want you. You have been to school up North and you are an integrationist. We have heard that you are a communist sympathizer and may actually be a communist. We don’t want you at our church.” That was their welcome home! A few months into his ministry Butts joined several clergy colleagues, Black and White, in signing a petition

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requesting that buses in Mobile be desegregated. The next day the Mobile Press Register listed the clergy names and the churches they served and wrote a scathing editorial chiding the pastors for meddling in matters that were none of their business. “To tell you that all hell broke out in my church is too mild a description of what happened.”

Church members began to withhold their money. The church could not pay the electricity bill, much less his salary— until one day a woman walked across the parsonage lawn, handed Butts an envelope and said it was an anonymous donation to the church. Inside were two $100 bills! Butts drove to a neighboring community to break the big bills into twenties—and each Sunday during the offertory prayer (with every head bowed and every eye closed) he would drop twenties into the offering plates. The anonymous woman came every Friday bringing anywhere from $200 to $500, so the total offering each Sunday was now surpassing the offerings before the crisis began! “We paid all the bills and all our conference claims, and no one had any idea where the money was coming from except my wife, the stranger who delivered the money, and me. We never knew the woman’s name. I called her ‘my angel on Michigan Avenue.’ She saved my ministry. If she had not shown up I would likely have left the ministry within the next few weeks.” Butts concluded his sermon with these words: “In time I came to celebrate that harrowing year, which I survived by the grace of God and God’s good servant, ‘my angel on Michigan Avenue,’ and by the strength I

drew from the shadow of Garrett which followed me South. Not all experiences can be celebrated on the occasion upon which they happen. Sometimes it takes years for an experience to come into proper focus and fit in with more obvious and pleasant experiences of celebration and joy. In fact, some of the more satisfying experiences of joy are delayed, and joy comes in the morning, after the dark night, after the storm.” When Butts attended his 50th reunion at GarrettEvangelical in 2007, he was inspired to take out a $2,500 gift annuity with the seminary, and he has continued to take out a small annuity every year since. Last year, however, he indicated he wanted to take out a larger annuity. “I have received a rather large sum of money,” he said, (which is another amazing story— but one that only he can tell!) “and I want my first gift to go to Garrett-Evangelical because the seminary

provided me with the tools for effective ministry—and the seminary stood beside me even in my darkest days. I am deeply indebted to Garrett-Evangelical for all it has done for me.” Garrett-Evangelical is deeply indebted to Thomas Lane Butts—for his prophetic ministry, for his powerful preaching, and for his eight annuities (thus far!) which now total $100,000. May his ministry—and his stewardship—inspire others to follow his example. If you share Butts’ commitment to prepare bold Christian leaders, we invite your participation. Outright gifts, pledges, and planned gift commitments are all welcome. For more information, contact David Heetland, vice president for development, at or 847.866.3970.

Over 1,400 Participated in First-Ever Town Hall Meeting Just fifteen days on the job and President Lallene J. Rector found herself speaking to over 1,400 people via the seminary’s first-ever telephone Town Hall Meeting on January 15. The 60-minute live presentation gave alums, friends, and prospective students an opportunity to hear directly from President Rector and to ask her questions. In her opening remarks, President Rector said, “It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as the new president of Garrett-Evangelical, and I’m so excited about what we’ll be able to do together. I stand on the shoulders of Neal Fisher, Ted Campbell, and, most recently, Phil Amerson. I’m grateful for the contributions these presidents have made and, most recently, those of Phil Amerson during his seven and a half years of service.” Mark Fowler, associate professor of church leadership, served as moderator for the Town Hall Meeting and welcomed callers to the conversation. Over 60 questions were submitted within the hour, and though time did not allow for all the questions to be answered during the Town Hall Meeting, President Rector was committed to answering them all in the days to follow. Questions ranged from preparing ministers for rural

ministry to strategies for church growth and pastoral care. When President Rector was asked about being the first layperson to serve as president of GarrettEvangelical, she said, “There has always been a call on my life to serve, and the service has been a number of things, from working in community mental health and being a pastoral psychotherapist, to serving as a faculty member and an administrator as academic dean, and now as president.” The idea for the Town Hall Meeting originated with trustee Jim Blue, who has served on the board of trustees for over 35 years. In addition, Jim generously helped underwrite the cost for the Town Hall. Upon hearing that over 1,400 participated in the Town Hall Meeting Jim said, “We are truly blessed to have so many who deeply care about theological education at Garrett-Evangelical. We are indeed grateful to all who participated and helped make our first-ever Town Hall Meetings such a success.” For a full transcript of the conversation, contact the Communications Office at Aware Magazine


Alum News J. Robert Ewbank (GBI 1958) has published a memoir titled, To Whom It May Concern (WestBow Press). Ewbank shares a compilation of family and daily life stories with humor and wit and concludes with a postcript inspired by his life.

Darrell Reeck (ETS 1965) has published a book, Growing Green Two Ways! This book is a coming-ofage story that chronicles Reeck’s boyhood adventures in the great outdoors and recalls the people and places that shaped his life.

Kenneth Burres (GBI 1960) has established the website Jews, Christians, Muslims: Common Roots, Seeds of Conflict, Rays of Hope (www. Its mission is “to foster greater understanding of the three monotheistic religions by persons of all faiths.”

John Gordon Melton (GTS 1968) has been honored with the Distinguished Service Award by the General Commission on Archives and History of The United Methodist Church.

Douglas Norris (GBI 1961) has published a book, I’ll Go: Reflections From 61 Years of Ministry. Norris tells how his years of ministry helped broaden his worldview and theology. This ebook is available at and all proceeds will go to the Douglas and Eleanor Norris Scholarship at Garrett-Evangelical. Royal Speidel (ETS 1962) is ending four years of pastoral coaching in the Missouri Conference of The United Methodist Church. During this time he has been coaching pastors through the pastoral leadership development process, as well as coaching churches through the eighteen month “Healthy Church Initiative.”

Anne Broyles (G-ETS 1979) has published a book, Arturo and the Navidad Birds. Boxes of Navidad ornaments and a lifetime of memories form the cornerstones of this enchanting bilingual tale told in English and Spanish. Tracy Smith Malone (G-ETS 1993) was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award from her undergraduate school, North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. Martha Jackson Oppeneer (G-ETS 1985 & 1997) recently published a book, Are You Ready for Marriage? 12 Conversations You Should Have Before Deciding to Get Married. Martha is a marriage and family therapist in the Milwaukee area.

Bishop Wayne K. Clymer, Former President, Has Died Bishop Wayne K. Clymer, who served as president of Evangelical Theological Seminary in Naperville, Illinois, from 1967 to 1972, died at the age of 96 on November 25, 2013. Bishop Clymer was an elder with the Evangelical United Brethren Church prior to the merger that formed The United Methodist Church in 1968 and he served as bishop of the Minnesota Episcopal Area from 1972 to 1980, and the Iowa Episcopal Area from 1980 to 1984. Bishop Clymer is survived by wife Virginia Schoenbohm Clymer; two sons, Kenton and Richard, and their wives; and grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Emeritus Professor, Wolfgang W. M. Roth, Has Died Wolfgang W. M. Roth, former professor of Old Testament and academic dean, died on Sunday, November 24, 2013. Born in Germany, a professor in India, a pastor in Canada and a professor at Garrett Theological Seminary beginning in 1967, Roth was remembered as an educator who worked the text like a detective finding nuggets of evidence that would support his probing explorations. Upon his retirement in 1996, Roth was named Emeritus Professor of Old Testament Interpretation. After suffering with Alzheimer’s for several years, Roth died peacefully while surrounded by his family, including his wife, Mary Beth.

14 Aware Magazine

In Memoriam Our Christian sympathy is extended to the family and friends of the following alums who have died in Christ. 1930s Samuel T. Kaetzel, GBI 1939, Lebanon, Ohio, died on June 25, 2012. 1940s Hilbert J. Berger, ETS 1946, Fort Wayne, Indiana, died on September 6, 2013. David R. Lytle, GBI 1948, Kansas City, Missouri, died on February 19, 2013. William Rickard, GBI 1946, Saint Clair Shores, Michigan, died on November 8, 2013.

Shirley M. Hilfinger, GBI 1953, Phoenix, Arizona, died in 2008. Joan Hoelscher, GBI 1958, Estes Park, Colorado, died on May 28, 2013.

Howard D. Allen, GTS 1970, Lebanon, Indiana, died on October 11, 2013.

William G. Johnson, GBI 1957, Homer Glen, Illinois, died on August 4, 2013.

Gary K. Brown, G-ETS 1977, Lees Summit, Missouri, died in June of 2013.

Donald W. Kurtz, ETS 1951, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, died on August 22, 2013.

Leland H. Scott, GBI 1948, Tuscon, Arizona, died on October 19, 2013. M. Stanford Strosahl, GBI 1946, Madison, Wisconsin, died on October 25, 2013.

John R. Timperley, GBI 1950, Madison, Alabama, died on March 5, 2013.



Howard L. Brox, ETS 1951, Burlington, Ontario, died on August 22, 2012.

Vernon F. Gunckel, GTS 1964, Toronto, Ontario, died on November 30, 2009.

Everett K. Burham, GBI 1955, Washington, Iowa, died on August 12, 2013.

Wesley Hart, GTS 1969, Fargo, North Dakota, died on October 17, 2013.

Robert T. Dodder, GBI 1955, Council Bluffs, Iowa, died on August 10, 2013. Rodney James “Jim” Hagen, GBI 1956, Evansville, Wisconsin, died on August 8, 2013. George P. Harjes, GBI 1951, Lawrenceville, Georgia, died on November 22, 2013. Wayne C. Hess, ETS 1952, Franklin, Indiana, died on August 12, 2013.


Barent S. Johnson, GBI 1951, Basking Ridge, New Jersey, died on September 25, 2013.

Kennard E. “Ken” Robinson, ETS 1958, Syracuse, Indiana, died on October 18. 2013.

DeWayne T. Chesley, GBI 1951, Brainerd, Minnesota, died on August 30, 2013.

George A. Tate, GTS 1965, Santa Fe, New Mexico, died on October 19, 2013.

Arthur J. Catterall, GTS 1970, Fair Oaks, California. Date of death is unknown. Norman C. Sloan, GTS 1972, Makanda, Illinois, died on August 9, 2013. Keith A. Wilken, ETS 1971, Fairmont, Minnesota, died on July 24, 2013. 1980s Judith Feaster, G-ETS 1986, Madison, Wisconsin, died on April 30, 2013. Charles M. Shields, G-ETS 1988, Rockford, Michigan, died on November 25, 2013. 1990s

Richard L. Matson, GTS 1966, Kentwood, Michigan, died on October 6, 2013.

Mary L. McIntyre, G-ETS 1995, Brookline, Massachusetts, died on October 2, 2010.

Donald H. Merrill, GBI 1961, Grand Rapids, Michigan, died on October 29, 2013.


Lloyd W. Osborn, GBI 1961, Willmar, Minnesota, died on October 21, 2013. Douglas W. Reed, GTS 1965, Austin, Texas, died on April 29, 2013. Raymond E. Robinson, GBI 1961, Waupaca, Wisconsin, died on September 19, 2013.

Judith K. Adams, G-ETS 2002, Kokomo, Indiana, died on November 24, 2013. Saul T. Pelay, G-ETS 2000, Brandon, Florida, died on March 6, 2012. Other Deaths Carl F. Leth, CSS, Linton, Indiana, died on November 3, 2013.

Aware Magazine


Calendar of Events Wednesday, February 5 Black History Month Lecture: Darlene Clark Hines, professor of African American studies and history, Northwestern University Contact The Center for the Church and the Black Experience Lecture at 847.866.3984 or

2121 Sheridan Road Evanston, Illinois 60201

(Academic lectures are Wednesday, 4:00 p.m., room 205 unless otherwise noted)

Friday, February 28 - Saturday, March 1 Celebration and Inauguration of Lallene J. Rector as President of Garrett-Evangelical: A variety of events will take place during the two days of celebration. To learn more, go to Contact Erin Moore at 847.866.3902 or Wednesday, March 12 Sabbatical Lecture: Charles Cosgrove, professor of early Christian literature “A Day in the Ancient Mediterranean” Contact Krista McNeil at 847.866.3903 or Wednesday, March 30 Asian/Asian-American Center Lecture: Rita Nakashima Brock, research professor in theology and culture, Brite Divinity School 4:00 p.m., Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful Contact W. Anne Joh at 847.866.3974 or Wednesday, April 2 Sabbatical Lecture: Osvaldo Vena, professor of New Testament interpretation “The Social Dimension of the Johannine ‘I ams’ and their Significance for the Church and the Academy” Contact Krista McNeil at 847.866.3903 or Saturday, April 12 Council of Laity and Alum Ambassador Day Contact Betty Campbell at 847.866.3971 or

For a full lecture schedule, visit us at


Wednesday, April 9 Installation of Luis R. Rivera as Academic Dean Contact Krista McNeil at 847.866.3903 or

Aware Magazine: February 2014  

A Quarterly Publication of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

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